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Fun Fest deemed a success

Despite gale force winds and torrential rain that blew through New Richmond Friday night, Russ Korpela, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, said Fun Fest was an overall success this year.

One of the area's favorite musical acts, The Dweebs, were forced to cancel their concert Friday night due to the inclement weather. They graciously agreed to return and perform Sunday afternoon, which drew a large crowd of about 400 for Fun Fest's final day.

Another large gathering was on Sunday morning for Faith Community Church's non-denominational worship service held under the big tent. People filled the huge tent and set up chairs around the outside edges to partake in the service and enjoy the upbeat Christian music performed by the church's praise band.

Saturday's hour-and-a-half parade was enjoyed by people lined up along Knowles Avenue from West Second Street, where the marchers and floats lined up, to Paperjack Road at the end of the route.

Korpela said Saturday's breezy but very pleasant weather helped the event have a huge attendance day.

"The highlight of Fun Fest was Saturday evening when the carnival and festival area experienced record-breaking crowds," Korpela said. "No one can remember in recent history when so many people came to enjoy the food booths and entertainment."

Korpela added that an estimated crowd of 1,500 jammed into the festival tent for the Firehouse concert Saturday night.

Because Fun Fest is one of the largest fund-raisers of the year for the Chamber, Korpela was thrilled that things went so well over the weekend.

"Proceeds from the event help the Chamber fund other projects like the downtown flower baskets, the House to House Garage Sale, the Christmas Parade and the forthcoming Corn on the Corner," Korpela explained.

More than 200 volunteers make the Fun Fest happen and Korpela extends his thanks to each of them.

"The Chamber is also proud of the fact that Fun Fest generates increased sales for many businesses and helps area non-profits raise thousands of dollars from Fun Fest activities," Korpela said. "Because of the hard work of many people throughout New Richmond, Fun Fest helps benefit the entire community beyond being a fun weekend of entertainment."